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October Reading Wrap-Up


October was an awesome reading month for me. The last few months haven’t been great (I didn’t read good books in August, and in September I read good books but very few of them), so I was really relieved to have a month of great books and lots of reading. I participated in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, which was wonderful; read a total of 3 books with a significant focus on artificial intelligence, which was a total coincidence; and participated in a Halloween-themed reading challenge for which I read 4 books. I also read an absolutely enchanting 5-star book and discovered a few new authors that I’ll definitely be reading more from in the future.

Here are my stats:

Total books read: 13 (!)

#readmyowndamnbooks: 6

Audiobooks: 4

Book Riot Read Harder challenge tasks completed: 1

✓ 20. Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette WintersonThe Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

And here’s what I read, ranked in order of awesomeness:

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The VegetarianThe Beautiful BureaucratThe Daylight Gate

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (5 stars) – this is the perfect example of a book that lives up to all of its hype and yet still manages to surprise you. It’s a shockingly positive, daringly upbeat science fiction novel focused on character development and the interactions between seemingly disparate societies, and I LOVED IT. I want to pick up the sequel very soon.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang (4 stars) – I thought the writing was really beautiful, and this was dark and immersive. The multiple perspectives worked well for me, as each one takes you deeper into the story. I really liked it but didn’t love it.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips (4 stars) – this was a short, unsettling novel about a woman who takes a dull office job entering data into a database and finds her reality slowly start to unravel. The weirdness was great for October, and it’s one that I’d recommend.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson (4 stars) – this was a disturbing, starkly written historical fiction/fantasy about the famous witch trials that took place in Lancashire in the 1600s. It wasn’t a subject that I had prior knowledge of, but Winterson includes a brief historical note before and after the story that helps to orient people like me. The book’s main character is Alice Nutter, a beautiful, mysterious, independent bisexual woman living in an era completely pervaded by misogyny and religious persecution. As a witch hunt begins to take place in her present, we begin to learn about her fascinating backstory. It’s a really brilliant and impactful book, and I’d highly recommend it–but I’d add the caveat that there is a lot of sexual violence and torture throughout the book, so if that’s something you typically have a hard time with, steer clear.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Fun Home: A Family TragicomicForest of MemoryAlex + Ada, Vol. 1 by Jonathan Luna

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (4 stars) – I read this for Dewey’s after procrastinating it for awhile; it’s a book that’s just so popular all over Bookstagram and the blogs that I got tired of seeing its cover. Turns out that I was wrong and everybody else was right, because I thouroughly enjoyed it.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (4 stars) – this graphic memoir, which focuses on Bechdel’s relationship with her father and learning about her sexuality, was insightful, emotional, and I’d highly recommend it.

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal (3.75 stars) – this was a short novella set in the near future where everyone has a personal AI that sort of acts like a google inside their heads was a perfect pick for Dewey’s. The story starts when our main character, a dealer in antiques (which are basically modern-day objects, although some are older) is abducted by a man in the woods and finds herself without an AI and completely out of contact with the world. There is also something mysterious going on with deer. I don’t want to say more because it’s quite short, but you should pick it up.

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike

Pretty Deadly, Vol 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios (2 stars) – Sorry, Pretty Deadly, but I am just not on board. For me, this graphic novel was too bloody and never took the time to establish any characterization. The mythology could have been interesting, but just wasn’t in the way the story was told. I won’t be picking up the next volume.

Bird Box by Josh MalermanFuriously Happy by Jenny LawsonIn a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth WareThe Geek Feminist Revolution

Audiobooks! I’m not going to lie, I crushed it with audiobooks this month. Four audiobooks is a lot for me, and the great thing was that I was really absorbed in most of these. I decided to rank these separately, for some reason.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (4 stars) – this was a really pleasant surprise for me. I don’t read a lot of mystery/thriller books, but Ware does a fantastic job with characterization and I was immediately drawn in to the atmosphere of this story. Essentially, an introverted author is invited to the bachelorette weekend of an old childhood friend she hasn’t spoken to in years, and things begin to get creepy from there. My favorite character was Nina, the bitingly sarcastic doctor friend of the book’s main character.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (3.5 stars) – this book of essays was interesting and insightful, but the audiobook narrator was TERRIBLE. I would absolutely recommend the book itself, but I’d really advise people to steer clear of the audio version–the narrator sort of overly-pronounces words and seems like she’s trying to sound super proper, but she somehow still manages to mispronounce a lot of things. It’s very odd; I kept going because the essays were so interesting, but I persisted in spite of the audio narrator.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (3.25 stars) – at turns entertaining and insightful, and a really good listen on audio.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman (2.5 stars)  – I really liked the science fiction/horror concept of this book, which was why I didn’t give it a lower rating. The problem for me was characterization, and this is a big deal for me in books–if the characterization is flat, then it doesn’t really matter how many twists and turns there are in the plot, it just isn’t going to be a great book for me.

So that’s what I read in October! How did everyone else’s reading month go?


October Book Haul


I may or may not have gotten caught up in the sales on Book Outlet during October, which convinced me to pick up more books than I meant to…I’ll try to do better in November!

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter – I hate to say that I wasn’t in love with Carter’s short story collection The Bloody Chamber; I really liked the first two stories but felt it got repetitive from there. I really wanted to give Angela Carter another shot, though, since she’s such a well-renowned author, and this book about a circus performer who claims to be part-human, part-swan sounds really intriguing. Lots of books about bird people coming up this month, apparently.

The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah – this book about an albino woman imprisoned in Zimbabwe after being convicted of murdering her adopted father sounds fascinating, and I’m assuming it also deals with the unreliability of memory, something I always like in fiction.

The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales – this sounds like a really fun, action-packed book about female assassins, and I’ve heard good things so far.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – I haven’t been hearing great things about this book in reviews, but I somehow feel that I will like it. Sometimes I like really unpopular books (and vice versa, actually probably more frequently I hate really popular books) so I wanted to give this one a try. It’s about a mysterious (alien?) artifact found by a young girl who grows up to be a physicist studying where the object could have come from. It’s getting comparisons to World War Z, which I’ve never read, but I hope that doesn’t mean there are zombies because I HATE THEM. Vampires, yes. Werewolves, yes. Aliens, yes. Fairies, sure. But zombies? No thanks.

Iluminae and Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman – I enjoyed reading Illuminae so much during Dewey’s 24-hour readathon that I immediately bought its sequel after I finished it. The main characters in Gemina shift to two teenagers living on the space station mentioned in the first book, which I’m okay with–not that I didn’t like the main characters in Illuminae, but they weren’t the reason that I enjoyed the book. I’d ideally like to wait and save Gemina for the next readathon (24 in 48 and Bout of Books are both in January) but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to wait that long.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – I’ve heard that this YA novel has a really great female antihero as its main character, and that it’s dark fantasy, which I tend to enjoy. I haven’t found a really good YA trilogy in awhile, and since the last book just came out, it seemed like good timing to pick this one up.

Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson – this book sounds SO COOL. It’s a nontraditional format with illustrations and documents as part of the story, and is told through dual narratives, one in 1843 and one in a dystopian future. I honestly don’t even want to know any details so that I can discover them for myself; the book also includes a letter labeled “DO NOT OPEN.” Can’t wait to ignore that and open it.

You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman – I’ve heard really good things about this book, whose characters are named only A, B, and C. I believe it’s sort of a darkly funny look at consumerist culture, but I could be totally wrong on that.

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun – I’m going to let the Goodreads page take this one: “In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.” Apparently magical realism is also involved. This one doesn’t have many reviews up, but I’m feeling really drawn to the story.

On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee – this dystopian science fiction book set in future America was really highly recommended; I’ve had my eye on it since it came out in 2014 but was waiting for the paperback.

Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis – a book of short stories, because apparently I don’t have enough short story collections on my tbr shelves *gives self a disapproving look*

Dewey’s Readathon Wrap-Up!


That’s a wrap on Dewey’s! I had such a great time reading and engaging in bookish awesomeness yesterday. The readathon came at a really perfect time, and it was so relaxing to abandon adulting for the day and read as much as possible instead. I joined a bit late, which I was prepared for, and ended up reading until about 4 a.m., which I was not anticipating doing. I started off with a graphic novel to kick things off, then got completely immersed in a YA scifi thriller (Illuminae) for the majority of the first half of the readathon. I thought I might get burnt out on reading by the end of the ‘thon, so I took a break to work out, shower, and eat dinner (delicious takeout Thai curry), which actually helped me get a second wind. I then jumped into a longer graphic memoir for awhile and picked up another graphic novel after that. Around 2 a.m. I was considering going to bed, but pushed myself to read one more short book, which turned into doing a little audiobooking as well, which then turned into me picking up my current read, so I ended up finishing strong. Overall, I actually did way better than I thought I would–I don’t set a timer or anything, but I think this readathon was a personal best in terms of both how much time I spent reading and how much I actually read.

In other surprises, I won one of the hourly prizes! Thank you, Dewey’s! I have to say a huge thank-you to the organizers of this event and everyone who made this readathon so wonderful. The bookish community is really fantastic, and I love getting to see everyone’s updates and tips throughout the challenge. The community feel of this readathon is what makes it so great, and I can’t wait to participate again next April 🙂

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

I wouldn’t say any of the hours were daunting, they were all pretty darn fun 🙂

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Yes! I think that Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was a great readathon book because it was so fast-paced and told in an unconventional format. I’d also recommend Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg, Forest of Memory by May Robinette Kowal, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, Confessions by Kanae Minato, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and any of Ilona Andrews’s books.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?

No, I thought it was fantastic.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Pretty much everything! I liked that Litsy was involved this time; it was fun to get updates on everyone’s reading on there

5. How many books did you read?

I read 5 books for a total of 1167 pages–3 graphic novels, 1 novella, and 1 YA novel. I also listened to about half an hour of my audiobook (The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley) and read about 16 pages of my current book, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

6. What were the names of the books you read?


Alex + Ada, Volume 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


Fun Home by Alison Bechdel


Pretty Deadly, Volume 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios


Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Illuminae was definitely the highlight of the readathon for me; it was such an action-packed, fast-paced book which worked perfectly to keep me engaged during the readathon. It’s a science fiction novel about the aftermath of an attack on a small planet and how the survivors are attempting to escape and not succumb to about a million different threats and conspiracies on the way.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Unfortunately, Pretty Deadly really did not work for me. I didn’t like the artwork, and I was not engaged in the story. There were some interesting aspects to it, but not enough to keep me going with this series.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’ll definitely be participating next time! I love this readathon and highly recommend giving it a try to anyone who’s been hesitant.


How was everyone’s readathon??? Feel free to link me to your posts, I would love to hear how you all did!

Dewey’s Readathon: Hour 12 (Halfway!) Updates

It’s hour 12 of Dewey’s, and I’m really surprised at how well I’m doing so far. I was able to join in on the fun earlier than anticipated, and have spent almost the entire day reading!

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m sort of in between books right now! I just finished Illuminae and it was awesome, and I’m sort of bewildered as far as where to go from here. I still have a bunch of books in my stack, and I’m thinking I’ll probably go for a graphic novel next–possibly Pretty Deadly, Vol 1. Technically I am in the middle of my audiobook, The Geek Feminist Revolution, but I haven’t listened to very much of it during the readathon so far.
2. How many books have you read so far?

So far I’ve finished 2 books–Alex + Ada, Volume 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn and Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Both were really great picks for the readathon, and I definitely recommend them.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Hmmmm…I’m very interested to see what Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal is all about, and it’s a novella so it’s easily finishable by the end of the ‘thon.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I’ve done pretty well with not having interruptions so far–I was too caught up in Illuminae to get distracted. I did just take a break to work out and shower, but I think that will help refresh me for the second half of the readathon.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I’m most surprised by the fact that I won a prize! I was actually one of the Hour 1 prize winners, and it was a really awesome surprise to see my name on there when I was able to join in on the readathon late this morning. I typically have terrible luck with giveaways and never win prizes, so thank you, Dewey’s!!!


I hope everyone is having a fantastic readathon so far!

Dewey’s Readathon Game Plan and TBR


I love October. It’s full of spooky, Halloween-related things and delicious pumpkin everything. October also means it’s time for another Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon, which tend to be the most awesome bookish events of the year. One of my favorite parts about the readathon is actually the anticipation and planning that come before the event; I love creating a TBR pile to sustain me through extended periods of reading, and figuring out how to maximize my reading time when I know I’ll still have to do things like work and sleep.

For me, the Readathon starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Like last time, unfortunately, I have to work the morning of the Readathon; I’m planning to get as much work as I can done ahead of time so that I can leave work in the early afternoon, hopefully by 1 or 2. I’ve found that listening to my audiobook on the way to and from work helps get me into the Readathon mindset early, even if I can’t fully participate until later.  I had to work the morning of the previous Readathon, too, and this really burnt me out (being on call for work all weekend didn’t help, either; once I started reading I kept getting interrupted). At least I’m not on call this time! And I’m planning on picking up Thai food from the delicious place near my office to bring home after work, as well, which is also a good motivator.

Once I finally get home, I’m hoping to hit the Readathon hard. I’ve found that it helps me to start with shorter books so that I can feel like I’m accomplishing something; that way, if I get stalled on my reading later, I’ll still know that I’ve hit a few reading goals.


-Read 3 books – pretty doable if I stick to shorter ones

-Read for 12 hours – this will mean I’m basically reading the entire day when I’m not at work, so I’m being a bit ambitious here

-Post updates on Instagram, Litsy, and here

My TBRs for readathons tend to look a lot different from my monthly TBRs. I find that short books, YA, fast-paced reads, and graphic novels tend to work the best for me in a readathon; I need books that can either hold my attention for an extended period of time or that allow me to jump back and forth pretty quickly. I tend to look for “easier” reads and not try to tackle anything too ambitious, as reading an extremely complicated book for a few hours can make me start to look for a reading break rather than feel inspired to keep going all night long (which I never do, by the way. I’m a terrible sleeper to begin with and I can’t afford to give up a whole night’s sleep). I also need a good, absorbing audiobook that I can listen to while driving and doing random things around the house so that I don’t lose out on reading time if I need to get other things done.

So! Here is my TBR for Dewey’s, ranked in order of most to least likely to actually read. To clarify, there is no way that I would actually be able to read all of these books, but I think that these are a good selection for me to choose from:

Forest of MemoryForest of MemoryForest of MemoryForest of Memory

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal – this is a science fiction novella by the author of Shades of Milk and Honey, which was sort of a Jane Austen retelling with magic that I read a few years ago and liked but didn’t love. This shorter novel is about a woman who loses contact with her A.I. and is unable to connect with the outside world, something that is constant and ubiquitous in the future, and has to deal with some sort of scary situation in the woods. I don’t really want to read too much about the plot since it’s a short work and I don’t want to spoil it, but it sounds sort of Octobery and I’ve been in a science fiction mood lately, so this is currently #1 on my list.

Fun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family TragicomicFun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – this is a graphic memoir about a daughter finding out that her father was gay after his death. I previously read Evie Wyld’s Everything is Teeth, another graphic memoir, and really enjoyed the format; I think this will be a good graphic novel to go with for the readathon.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I was sort of waffling about whether to read this for a really long time, until I sort of did a 180 and decided I needed to own this book immediately. It’s science fiction YA about two teenagers who break up and then get caught up in this huge adventure/conspiracy where their planet is at stake; the reason I think it’ll work well for the readathon is that it’s not written in a straightforward book way but made up of transcipts, emails, interviews, etc. I heard that it’s fast-paced and an easy read, so I think this might be the perfect thing for me.

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The ShrikePretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike

Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1Alex + Ada, Vol. 1

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios and Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn – I don’t know much about either of these graphic novels but I’ve seen them both recommended around BookTube. I tend to only pick up graphic novels during Readathons, so it’s always sort of fun to jump into a new one to mix up my reading.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – this is my current read, and it’s fantastic. I don’t usually tend to go for what I’m currently reading during Dewey’s, but I like having it as an option.

The Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist RevolutionThe Geek Feminist Revolution

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley – this is my audiobook pick, and while I’m really interested in the content, I’m not loving the audio narrator so far. If it keeps going the way it is I might have to do a last-minute switch!


Gutshot by Amelia Gray – this is a dark, supposedly super disturbing short story collection; I’ll pick this up if I’m in the mood for something October-y.


Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – I started this middle-grade novel last month but wasn’t really getting into it; I think I need to give it another try because I’m a huge fan of Tahereh Mafi and the worldbuilding did seem very cool.


So that’s the plan for Saturday! Who else is participating? What are you planning on reading? Feel free to link me to your posts, I love to see what everyone else is doing for Dewey’s!